Improvements to the Farm Household Allowance (FHA) introduced by the Australian Government will help more farmers across Toowoomba and the Darling Downs through tough times including drought.
Member for Groom John McVeigh said the government had listened to local farmers and was increasing support through the FHA.
“Minister for Agriculture, Bridget McKenzie, has listened to the concerns of our community and is extending farming families’ access to the FHA to four years in every 10,” Dr McVeigh said.
“Other changes will lift the amount families can earn off-farm to $100,000 a year in recognition of the reality that much of the income earned off-farm goes straight to servicing debt as well as allow farmers to count income from agistment against their losses.
“A one-off drought relief payment of up to $13,000 for a farming family, and up to $7500 for an individual, is designed to help people with decisions about whether they will be sustainable, should look at succession options or, in some instances choose to sell.
“The government has listened to our local farmers and realises that in a country of extremes, including here on the Darling Downs, they may need to access FHA more than once in their lives.
“We don’t want our local farmers to have to worry about how they’re going to pay the next bill, we want them to be able to focus on what they do best which is producing fantastic, clean, green product.
“We’re delivering these improvements as soon as possible to make sure our farmers and their families can continue access much needed support.
“Our government is continuing to listen to our farmers and our community to deliver support tailored to the needs of rural and regional Australia,” Dr McVeigh said.
The FHA has been supporting Australian farmers since July 2014. It has paid more than $365 million to around 12,700 recipients in that time.
The Bill introduced to the House of Representatives amends the Farm Household Support Act 2014 and the Farm Household Support Minister’s Rule 2014.